Julie Brown wants the community to know she delivers. That is both a statement, and the name of her business.
Brown, a locally-based, small-scale delivery driver, said her decision to take that route was a spur-of-the-moment kind of thing, literally on the heels of retirement as a service advisor for a local automotive dealership.
“I retired from my previous career, and I’m sitting around, saying ‘Now what does life hold for me?’ I was about four hours into retirement at that point, and went flipping through Facebook,” Brown said. “There was a young guy looking for a truck to help him move some stuff, and I said, ‘Well I can do that.’ I moved the stuff, he appreciated it, and I thought, ‘Well, maybe this is a thing.’”
Without further ado, Brown soon thereafter employed her unassuming white Dodge Caravan and started what became She Delivers, a small-scale, driveway-to-driveway delivery service that runs from the Valley area right into the main streets of Halifax.
Brown’s customer base so far is a cross-section, with demographics ranging from university students to the elderly.
“I’m not a moving company, so if you’ve got a three-bedroom house, I’m the wrong person to ask for help,” Brown said. “But I’ve been to Halifax several times, and down to Middletown and Annapolis Royal.”
Brown said a significant number of her customers have one thing in common; they need to move furniture.
“People will call or message me through Facebook and say, ‘Can you pick this up on Thursday morning at 10?’ I check my schedule, and if I can, I do,” Brown said.
She started out with the intention of being an alternative to bigger moving companies by making her rates reasonable.
“Someone will buy a couch and say ‘Great, now how do I get it home?’ You can’t call one of the big moving companies to do it because it’s going to cost you and arm and a leg, and wait about two weeks to do it,” Brown said. “It’s kind of a niche market. I’ll go right up to the store, load it, take it to their house and unload it.”
If the question of what arises, her answer is: “I don’t do a lot of mattresses, because they’re just big. I also avoid big appliances because they’re heavy.”
Short of that, Brown said she can deliver - in her Dodge Caravan.
“I took out the seats and put some plastic on the floor,” Brown said.
“It’s great,” Brown said, describing the delivery work. “People are so appreciative of getting their item or items to their destination in a timely fashion. It’s just supplying a need to some folks.”
Brown said one of the most memorable and enjoyable aspects of her job is the sense of curiosity it feeds and gratifies.
“This one lady moved here from out of province, and she’s buying all of her furniture, so I get a little glimpse at her life,” Brown said. “It’s really neat, since she’s buying some unique pieces.”
She gratefully acknowledged the help of some of the local business community, noting that some of the owners of the businesses where people buy furniture have handed out her card to customers.
“It’s been fun watching people’s lives develop and (seeing) what they treasure,” Brown said.